AC470      Half Unit
Accounting in the Global Economy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Andrea Mennicken KSW 3.09, Dr Alexa Scherf OLD 3.12


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Diploma in Accounting and Finance, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MRes/PhD in Accounting (AOI) (Accounting, Organisations and Institutions Track), MSc in Accounting and Finance, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Economy and Society, MSc in Management and Strategy, MSc in Regulation and MSc in Risk and Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The course is not available to students on the MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions programme.

The course is capped to one section of 55 students. Students on the waiting list will be admitted on a first-come first-served basis.


There are no specific pre-requisites and the course does not require a background in accounting.

Course content

This course examines the fast changing practices and institutions of accounting in the global economy, with a particular emphasis on the roles of accounting in global financial governance. International accounting and auditing standards have been advocated as a way of enhancing global financial stability, so as to stimulate the flow of cross-national investment, expand the scope for market-oriented development, and integrate local enterprises into global financial markets. This course critically examines dynamics of accounting regulation, including international standard-setting and consequences for financial statement users, business entities and wider local and global stakeholders.

Topics include:

Political, institutional and economic influences in changing national and international financial reporting frameworks. The political economy of accounting standard-setting. The work of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the European Union, national accounting bodies, and their political and economic environments.

The effects of national financial reporting requirements and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on business entities and economic development, particularly developing and emerging economies (including the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China). The enforcement of financial reporting requirements through auditors, securities regulators, the World Bank and others.

Specific technical challenges (for example, impairment tests, derivatives and other financial instruments, fair value accounting and intangible assets).

The course explores issues from different theoretical perspectives through comparative empirical analysis.


Teaching is delivered in two weekly 90-minute sessions over 10 weeks across Lent Term. Each session draws on a variety of academic readings, practical exercises, and case analyses. This year, some or all of this teaching may be delivered using virtual classes as an alternative to face-to-face teaching.

This course has no regular teaching in Week 6 of LT. Instead, an essay workshop will be held in Week 6 of LT.

It is further intended to run a small number of additional sessions with invited speakers who are centrally involved at a senior level in the setting, enforcement and convergence of international accounting regulations. Further details will be provided at the start of the session.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to come to each session prepared having done the assigned readings and having prepared the assigned class discussion questions. In addition, students are required to write an assessed essay of 3,500-4,000 words, to be submitted after the Easter break. The word limit excludes the bibliography. This written work forms 50% of the overall assessment. A workshop will be held in preparation for the essay assignment in Week 6 of LT. Individual feedback will be given on essay outlines in one-to-one feedback sessions during Week 11. Further readings, exercises and case studies are set for class discussion each week.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be given out at the start of the session, and are largely based on academic journal articles. Other readings include policy briefings, regulatory documents, green and white papers, World Bank reports (ROSC).

Relevant books:

  • Camfferman & Zeff, Aiming for Global Accounting Standards, 2001-2011 (Oxford University Press, 2018);
  • Botzem, The Politics of Accounting Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2012);
  • Ramanna, Political Standards: Corporate Interest, Ideology and Leadership in the Shaping of Accounting Rules for the Market Economy (University of Chicago Press, 2015);
  • Djelic & Quack, Transnational Communities: Shaping Global Economic Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2010);
  • Nobes & Parker, Comparative International Accounting (Pearson, 2020);
  • Weetman, Tsalavoutas & Gordon, International Corporate Reporting (Routledge 2020);
  • Weetman & Tsalavoutas (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Accounting in Emerging Economies (Routledge, 2020);
  • Walter, Governing Finance: East Asia's Adoption of International Standards (Cornell University Press, 2008).


Exam (50%, duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Essay (50%) in the ST.

Essay: (50%, 3,500-4,000 words) is submitted in ST (after the Easter break). The 4,000 words exclude the bibliography.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 25
Merit 51.6
Pass 21.1
Fail 2.3

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2020/21: 38

Average class size 2020/21: 38

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication